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What Directors Think 2017

Guarded optimism amid a shifting political landscape

Every year, NYSE Governance Services and Spencer Stuart collaborate to survey directors of publicly traded companies to check their pulse on the challenges and best practices of corporate directorship in the United States. This year, in our 14th annual What Directors Think survey, more than 600 board members shared their thoughts about the unpredictability that characterized 2016 and the skill sets needed to navigate the uncertainty ahead.

Click here to read the full report.

Key takeaways include:

  • While a full third of board members agreed Dodd-Frank should be completely repealed, the majority (58%) argued in favor of tweaking only certain provisions.
  • Two-thirds of directors said it is unlikely they’ll adjust their global strategy over the near term, though 46% speculated about the likeliness of doing so domestically.
  • Thirty-nine percent of directors said they discuss cybersecurity at every meeting, a slight uptick from the 35% reported six months earlier.
  • Four out of 10 respondents reported their board has at least one director with cyber expertise, with an additional 7% who are in the process of recruiting one.
  • Strategy, regulatory compliance and capital allocation remain the most discussed topics at board meetings.
  • Nearly half of board members believe length of tenure does not affect board autonomy.
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